Personal Finance

How to celebrate Halloween at the office


Everyone loves Halloween because it hits the holiday trifecta: candy nirvana, no last-minute gift-shopping trauma and fun costumes. It is also celebrated in many workplaces. Impressing your workmates with a clever costume is great fun, but don’t make the mistake of taking it too far.

Rules of Thumb

Office dress-up day can be a tricky situation, so you’ll want to make sure your outfit is work-appropriate. Generally, that means something playful (save the over-the-top or scary costumes for another venue), fairly modest (consider how you would feel parading in front of your HR director) and comfortable enough to get your work done.

There are plenty of ways to go about solving this problem, but primarily, you don’t want to wait until the last minute. Give yourself a few weeks to have fun executing your idea. Advance planning will also prevent you from spending a ton of money in a panic. And, many of the best costumes are the simplest to create at home.

As an Individual

Take a look around. Maybe your office layout reminds you of a TV show, a certain movie or even a board game that you can use as a jumping-off point for a great costume. Don’t be afraid to dress up the office environment to fit the part, either.

At one our branches, we had an employee dress up as a “cash cow” and work the drive-thru. We’ve also had employees wear devil and angel headbands as quick, inexpensive options. There are plenty of clever, frugal, individual ideas online to spark your creativity.

With a Group

Halloween at work also presents an excellent opportunity to bond with coworkers because group costumes are perfect for the office environment. For my teams we try to pick a theme and then brainstorm as a group what we want to do.

The size of your group can also spark ideas for costumes. Five people are perfect for a poker hand, with each person coming as a different card (Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Ten.) Three is perfect for musketeers or blind mice. Perhaps someone in your group resembles a celebrity and you can be their posse or re-create an iconic scene from pop culture. If all else fails, find some overalls, a yellow shirt and some goggles and you’re all Minions.

The key is to have fun and be creative, which is why Halloween has always been one of my favorite days of the year.

Kat's Money Corner is posted on Dollars & Sense every Tuesday. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little ones, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, click or visit